Thursday, 27 May 2010

Social engagement – fact or fiction?


   In my end-of-day keynote at Kenexa’s Euro Summit, I talked about how the social aspects of an organisation play an important role in influencing the engagement levels of employees.

I referred in particular to some of:


I used these arguments to suggest that much of what engages us at work comes from our relationships with the people we work alongside.

So I was paying particular interest to Jack Wiley’s keynote at the start of the day in which Jack described the findings of Kenexa’s 2010 WorkTrends survey, wondering to what extent this social type of engagement would appear in their research.

The answer is it didn’t.  Hardly at all – just in terms of the #10 reason that people leave (feeling part of a team).


I carried on anyway – and I don’t think anyone noticed the divergence in our views.

But what’s behind the discrepancy?  Who’s right, who’s wrong.  I’d love to learn your views.


Cross-posted on my Strategic HCM blog


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  1. Who's right and who's wrong? That's a big discussion - but my instinct is to take the middle road and say rather that you and Jack are talking about two different things.

    Assuming the picture shows some of his results, he's talking about the commitment of an employee to an organisation - or possibly a "job." The social stuff is about how connected someone feels about the work that they do. The decisions people make are a mixture of two axes...

    Actually, now I've typed that, I don't know if there's a clear divide, the axes are not orthogonal. My experience is that even if someone really enjoys their work in a social sense, they may move if some of Jack's factors are a problem. And vice versa...

    One thing I'd throw in is that there are different situations, but a lot of the time, individuals in a job are choosing between staying, or moving to one that is essentially similar. Social engagement is often a tipping point issue...

  2. Thanks Indy, I've replied in this post:


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